Mission Viejo Hosted Open Water Swimming Event

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For the last two years, the City of Mission Viejo and Mission Viejo Nadadores has been hosting open water events for master swimmers and amateur/age group swimmers alike. It was a friendly community event that allowed swimmers to connect and appreciate a new experience of lake swimming.

The event started on a beautiful Sunday morning at around eight o’ clock on the sand next to the lake. Swimmers signed in a check register where they received a masters swimming cap, a ankle chip in which they will track you, and a goody bag that includes gatorade, bodywash/conditioner/lotion/anti-fog remover for using after the event.

Swimmers had a nice little block-out area in which they can warm-up. There were numerous lifeguards and safety crew on deck in case any swimmers got into trouble. Before the races (1 mile, 800, and 400), there were safety meetings in which they talked about the disqualifications and what to do in distress.

There were about 10-12 swim teams in total, and they sent swimmers off in heats. The older swimmers went first (which was the majority of the masters and 13-14 age groups swimmers) for all three races.

I started my event around 10 o’ clock, when all the milers finished their race. Everyone was cheering for one another, and it was a very supportive enviornment for first time open water swimmers.

Although the water was slightly murky, the visibility was still good. The temperature of the lake was at a perfect temperature (above 80 degrees Fahrenheit) and the water was clean from litter and trash. I was fortunate to finish 3rd in my age group, right after one of my team mates (swimmers were given ribbons if you placed top six in your age group).

Perhaps the funniest thing that happened was during the 800 freestyle event for the 11-12 age group towards the end of the race. There was “traffic” out on the waters! A couple of ducks were swimming in the way of one of the swimmers (my sister) while she was trying to sprint towards the finish line.

A lot of people filmed that particular mishap and people clapped for her after she touched the touchpad.

Overall the event was a really great experience for anyone who wanted to try out something different. It was more of a family-friendly event rather than a competitive one. Anyone who wants to try it out next year are all welcome to come!

James Webb Space Telescope: First Images Revealed Event

Launched on December 25, 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope (or Webb) has the potential to revolutionize astronomy, astrophysics, and other space sciences forever. Last month, the first images from Webb were transmitted back to Earth, and what they show is astonishing.

On Saturday, August 20, the Mission Viejo Library held the James Webb Space Telescope: First Images Revealed event, which showcased the preliminary images received from Webb as well as a live presentation by NASA Solar System ambassadors alongside expert comments and conclusions from video panelists. 

Webb works by using infrared light (or heat, imperceptible to the human eye), to view and capture images from deep space. This new technique complements the Hubble telescope, but it also allows Webb to see extremely far away at distances over 13 billion years away – nearly as old as the universe itself!

One of my favorite images from the presentation was the Carina Nebula, shown to the left. The James Webb Telescope has captured the first image of a star actually being born in a stellar nursery, confirming scientific theories while also raising new questions about the details of star birth. 

I also liked the picture of the deep space field, shown to the right. Although the brightest stars are “photobombing” the image, since they’re part of the Milky Way galaxy, some of the smaller and dimmer spots are actually never-before-seen galaxies, part of the ancient world formed just after the creation of the universe. The curves near the center of the image also show concrete proof of gravitational lensing (or the curving of space-time as theorized by Albert Einstein). 

Despite all of these fascinating discoveries, Webb is far from finished. Not only is there so much left to be discovered and explained about the images it has already sent, it is projected to last for a decade or longer, so it will undoubtedly unveil more and more about the universe we live in. Overall, I really enjoyed the Webb event, and look forward to presentations like this in the future.

Images courtesy of NASA (nasa.gov)

– Mahak M.

Digital Leadership Workshop Program for Teens

Happy February, everyone! I am Tran Nguyen, a girl scout of Troop 2279, located in Santa Ana, CA. As a senior in high school, I am currently working towards my Gold Award, the highest award in the Girl Scout program.

During quarantine, everything was closed. Due to everything being canceled and closed, we couldn’t earn service hours or perform community service, and this went on for about 6 months. We didn’t know what else to do with our bucket-load of free time that we had during quarantine. We teenagers love spending time on our devices, and our parents couldn’t tell us to get off and do something productive easily. Social media is a HUGE part of our lives. But what if I told you that we, as teenagers, could use social media in a better way?

As a student who has struggled with procrastination and social media addiction from 8th grade to junior year in high school, I understood what it was like to be unproductive and how it was a challenge to balance school, extracurricular activities, and social media platforms. After learning about social media marketing and diving deeper into that skill during quarantine, I was able to find that balance. Knowing how many teenagers also struggle with finding that balance, I wanted to help them through my workshop program.

My online program, the Digital Leadership Workshop, aimed to show and help the teenage population become more aware of how they can use social media as a tool instead of something to waste time on. This program did that by teaching the basic skills of social media marketing — a skill where one could use social media to help other communities, groups, clubs, charities, organizations, businesses, and even grow him/herself to serve the people in his/her community.

The Digital Leadership Workshop taught basic skills of social media marketing including:

  • defining a target audience
  • how to run a business page on social media
  • how teenagers can apply these skills to help others in their community
  • and how advertisements work on social media

While collaborating with the Central Library, I was able to share these skills with up to 10 people, and their awareness about this subject grew from 50% to 85%. I would like to thank the Mission Viejo Library and Mr. Allen Kesinger for giving me the opportunity to share my expertise with the teenagers there. I know I didn’t get much of an audience throughout the duration of my workshop program, but the feedback I received was very insightful. It helped me to become more aware of how I can make the program better for future teenage audiences; I look forward to presenting at more locations.

Thank you!

–Tran N.

For more information, please see the flyer above or click to visit the website.

Event Review:  Holiday Candy Houses

On the evening of Saturday, December 18, 2021 the Mission Viejo Library Teen Advisory Board, which is overseen Mr. Allen Kesinger, the Teen Services Librarian at the Mission Viejo Library, put on an amazing  and fun, family event. The Annual Candy Holiday House Event invited “children and families to build their own cozy cottages of confectionery!”

As we arrived, we were greeted by Mr. Kesinger who showed us the way to the fun!  There were so many different varieties of candies to choose from and to decorate your house with that it was difficult to decide.  Everyone started at one end of the table to collect their supplies for building their Candy Holiday Houses. For the structure of the house we used graham crackers and had the choice of using vanilla or chocolate frosting to construct the walls and roof. There were many candies to choose from to decorate the Holiday Candy Houses including chocolate or peppermint Hershey’s Kisses, multi colored gummy bears, peppermint colored marshmallows, mini candy canes, peach rings, M&M’s, and my favorite of all mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!

While the construction of the houses is always fun, another obviously fun part of making Holiday Candy Houses is getting to eat them, which we all did gladly! We are lucky to live in a city that cares enough about our citizens to put on such fun events.  Thank you to our amazing librarian Mr. Kesinger and his Teen Advisory Board for making our Holidays a little bit brighter!

-Brandon G.

Event Review: The Magical Yule Ball

On the evening of Saturday, December 4, 2021 the Mission Viejo Library put on an amazing family friendly event called “The Magical Yule Ball.” The invitation was geared towards families inviting all “wizards and witches…for a delightful evening of crafts, live music, and refreshments.” This event was based on Harry Potter, so I had to check it out!

The event did not disappoint! It started when you checked in and got to pick a house for your group from the sorting hat. My group got Griffindor.  Many of the attendees were dressed up as a wizard or wore festive holiday attire.

As you moved through the stations at the event you were given a ticket after your participation in a craft,  that you would bring to a special table and deposit in your House’s jar to help your House win points.

There were crafts where you could make your very own wand out of sticks and crystals, craft a broomstick from a pencil, paper and string, and a prophecy orb to hang on your holiday tree.

After making all of these great things, our group was hungry so we headed over to the snack tables where we found Hagrid’s Rock Cakes (Nature Valley Granola Bars), Cloud Cakes (Rice Crispy Bars), Edible Flue Powder (Pop Rocks Candy), Licorice Wands (Twizzlers), Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans (Jelly Belly Beans), and Golden Snitches made from Ferrero Rocher candies with little paper wings stuck to them. Of course, there were also bottles of Felix Felici’s Liquid Luck (apple juice) to quench your thirst!

The live string quartet was great and even included a harpist.  They played a variety of instrumentals including lots of holiday favorites.

We are lucky to live in a city that does so much to bring our community together. I highly suggest you check out other events put on in the future by the Mission Viejo Library and other city groups because you will not be disappointed!

Oh, you ask which House won?  Perhaps you should check out this event next year and find out for yourself! 

-Brandon G.

5th Annual Harry Potter Trivia by MVL: July 30, 2021

Hello trivia enthusiasts! I hope you all enjoyed the fun, zoom-based, summer season of pop culture trivia series, hosted by Mission Viejo Library. In case you didn’t get a chance to participate this year, make sure to keep a lookout for all future trivia hosted by Mission Viejo Library. They are super fun, engaging and the questions really challenge your knowledge in a fun way. Our energetic trivia host makes the activity more thrilling.

Mission Viejo Library saved the best for the last. Our 4th and final summer trivia, hosted on July 30, 2021, was also our 5th Annual Harry Potter Trivia. Our enthusiastic and knowledgeable trivia host covered the depths of the Harry Potter world. The trivia was designed in three rounds. Every round had 12 mind-boggling questions.  The host went through every round twice: once for the questions and once again for the answers.

Here are some of the questions he covered. See if you can guess them!

Round 1:

1. Name all the Weasleys from oldest to youngest.

  • Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny

2. What is the Dursleys’ address?

  • 4 Privet Drive

3. How many staircases does Hogwarts have?

  • 142 staircases 

Round 2:

1. Name all seven ingredients that create the Polyjuice Potion.

  • Lacewing flies, leeches, powdered Bicorn horn, knotgrass, fluxweed, shredded Boomslang skin, and a bit of the person you want to turn into.

2. Which spell is also known as the Thief’s Friend?

  • Alohomora

3. How much does a ticket for the Knight Bus cost if you include a cup of hot chocolate?

  • 14 Sickles

Round 3:

1. During Harry’s sixth year in Hogwarts, who is the instructor that taught the Apparition class?

  • Wilkie Tycross

2. Which ice cream flavor did Harry eat at the zoo when he went out with the Dursleys?

  • Lemon Ice Pop

3. What is the name of Draco Malfoy’s son?

  • Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy

Our Summer Trivia Program is now complete! If you joined us in any or all of the trivias, we hope you enjoyed it! If you missed it, come back next year! Hopefully we can even meet in person next year! 

-Anya P.

Name That Tune: Disney Edition by MVL: July 23, 2021

Hello trivia enthusiasts! I am sure you were enjoying the fun, zoom-based, summer season of pop culture trivia series, hosted by Mission Viejo Library. 

Our 3rd trivia, hosted on July 23, Name that Tune: Disney Edition was as exciting as it sounds. Our enthusiastic and knowledgeable trivia host covered an array of nostalgic Disney movie tunes. The trivia was designed in three rounds. Every round had 10 mind scintillating tunes. The host played every tune three times for the trivia enthusiasts. The host went through every round twice: once for the clips and once again for the answers. If the attendees didn’t know the tunes, they had an option of guessing the movie name. Our generous host then challenged his audience more with a bonus round based on Disney TV tunes. The bonus round had 4 questions and had the same rules as the regular rounds.

Here are some of nostalgic tunes/ movies he covered:

  • “When will my life begin”: TANGLED
  • “Almost there”: PRINCESS AND THE FROG
  • “Un Poco Loco”: COCO
  • “Kiss the girl”: LITTLE MERMAID
  • “You’re Welcome”: MOANA
  • “You can Fly”: PETER PAN
  • “Everyone wants to be a cat”: THE ARISTOCATS
  • “Friend like me”: ALADDIN
  • “Topsy Turvy”: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
  • “Theme song”: PHINEAS AND FERB

I would totally recommend participating in fun family friendly events like these!

-Anya P.

Heroes and Villains Trivia by MVL, July 16, 2021

Hello readers! I hope you have already read my writeup on the first of the four zoom-based Summer Trivia Programs hosted by Mission Viejo Library in July 2021. By now, I hope you know how exciting and fun this summer season of pop culture trivia was!

Today I am writing about the second zoom based Trivia night that I attended on July 16, 2021. It was about Heroes and Villains! It consisted of some fun trivia questions from some of my favorite movies from Marvel and more: the Iron Man series, the Spider-Man series, the Batman series, and the Harry Potter series.

These were some of the questions. See if you can guess the answers yourself before checking the answers:

  1. In the film Captain America: The First Avenger, what is the name of the top secret project that turned Steve Rogers into a super soldier?
    • Project Rebirth
  2. In the Back to the Future trilogy, Marty McFly is antagonized by a member of the Tannen family. Name each iteration as they appear in the trilogy?
    • Biff Tannen, Griff Tannen, and Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen
  3. Which Hogwarts instructor was revealed to have erased the minds of witches and wizards while taking credit for their accomplishments?
    • Gilderoy Lockhart
  4. What is Dr. Octopus’ real name?
    • Otto Octavius
  5. S.T.A.R. Labs has a prominent role in numerous DC properties. What does S.T.A.R. stand for?
    • Scientific and Technological Advanced Research

These were some of the many fun questions we got to answer! The trivia nights consist of 3 rounds, and each round has 12 questions.

-Anya P.

Event Recap: Summer Trivia Heroes and Villains!

Hi, all! This month, we have Summer Trivia hosted by the Mission Viejo Library once a week, on Friday! If you’d like to participate, please contact libraryprograms@cityofmissionviejo.org to receive the zoom link. 

I recently attended the Heroes and Villains trivia game, which was on July 16, 2021. It lasted about an hour, from 6:00 to 7:00, and it kept me engaged the entire time! There were three rounds altogether, with twelve questions per round. Plus, there were different avenues of popular culture represented, such as Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and Back to the Future! If you’d like a sample of the questions, here are a few that kept me on my toes!  

Round One: Heroes

  1. What material is Wolverine’s claws made from?
    1. Adamantium 
  2. What is the name of Superman’s home planet?
    1. Krypton
  3. Han Solo boasts that he got through the Kessel Run in how many parsecs?
    1. Less than twelve parsecs (tricky!) 
  4. In Back to the Future III, Doc Brown made a giant, steam powered machine in 1885 that created what?
    1. Ice (tricky!)
  5. What breed of dog is Scooby Doo?
    1. Great Dane

Round Two: Villains

  1. In the Back to the Future Trilogy, Marty McFly is antagonized by a member of the Tannen Family. Name each iteration as they appear in the trilogy.
    1. Biff Tannen, Griff Tannen, and Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen
  2. What is the name of Thanos’ home planet?
    1. Titan
  3. What children’s television performer developed a murderous obsession with Bart Simpson?
    1. Sideshow Bob
  4. In the animated version of Sleeping Beauty, what color is the magical orb that tops Maleficent’s staff?
    1. Yellow (tricky!)
  5. Who voices the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series?
    1. Mark Hamill

Round Three: Heroes AND Villains

  1. What is the name of Doctor Strange’s “home base” in New York?
    1. Sanctum Sanctorum
  2. What is the name of Wonder Woman’s magical rope?
    1. The Lasso of Truth
  3. Which Disney villain uttered this line: “Your father has charged me with keeping peace in Agrabah. That boy was a criminal.”
    1. Jafar
  4. What is the name of Superman’s retreat in the arctic?
    1. The Fortress of Solitude 
  5. What is the name of the Scooby Doo crew’s van?
    1. The Mystery Machine

How did you do? If you would like to sign up for further trivia, contact libraryprograms@cityofmissionviejo.org to receive the zoom link. Here are the dates and themes: 

July 23 @ 6:00-7:00 PM → Name that Tune: Disney Themes 

July 30 @ 6:00-7:00 PM → 5th Annual Harry Potter Trivia 

Have fun! 

Pixar Fest Trivia by MVL, July 9, 2021

Hello readers! Have you heard of the zoom based Summer Trivia Program hosted by Mission Viejo Library in July 2021? It is a super exciting and fun, summer season of pop culture trivia! If you haven’t already, you can email libraryprograms@cityofmissionviejo.org to join in on the fun!

Every week this month, we have a trivia night on Friday! I recently attended the first one on July 9, 2021. It was about Disney Pixar Movies! The questions made me really delve into my knowledge of Pixar movies. Some of my favorite Pixar Movies are the Toy Story movies, the Incredibles movies, Cars movies, Inside Out, and Brave.

These were some of the questions. See if you can guess yourself before checking the answers:

  1. What are the emotions that live inside Riley’s head in the movie Inside Out?
    • Joy, Fear, Sadness, Anger, and Disgust
  2. What name does Russell give the exotic bird he finds in Paradise Falls from the movie Up?
    • Kevin
  3. Who is Buzz Lightyear’s mortal enemy?
    • Emperor Zurg
  4. What are the names of Merida’s three brothers?
    • Hubert, Harris, and Hamish
  5. It is said you can find a delivery vehicle in almost every Pixar movie. What company is the delivery truck from?
    • Pizza Planet

These were some of the many fun questions we got to answer! The trivia nights consist of 3 rounds, and each round has 12 questions.

If you would like to sign up for future trivia nights, email libraryprograms@cityofmissionviejo.org (as mentioned above)! I would totally recommend participating! The days and themes include:

Heroes and Villains – July 16 @ 6pm

Name That Tune: Disney Themes – July 23 @ 6pm

5th Annual Harry Potter Trivia – July 30 @ 6pm

-Anya P.